Soda causes asthma, COPD?

Have a Choke and a smile?

These are junk correlations: weak statistics, no consideration of confounding risk factors, no biological plausibility, and potential statistical game-playing — we’re always suspicious when we see confidence intervals that barely creep overe significance levels.

The media release and abstract are below.

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Drinking large amounts of soft drinks associated with asthma and COPD

A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that a high level of soft drink consumption is associated with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Led by Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide, researchers conducted computer assisted telephone interviewing among 16,907 participants aged 16 years and older in South Australia between March 2008 and June 2010 inquiring about soft drink consumption. Soft drinks comprised Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade etc.

Results showed that one in ten adults drink more than half a liter of soft drink daily in South Australia. The amount of soft drink consumption is associated with an increased chance of asthma and/or COPD. There exists a dose-response relationship, which means the more soft drink one consumes, the higher the chance of having these diseases.

Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported consuming more than half a liter of soft drink per day.

The odds ratio for asthma and COPD was 1.26 and 1.79, comparing those who consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day with those who did not consume soft drinks.

Furthermore, smoking makes this relationship even worse, especially for COPD. Compared with those who did not smoke and consume soft drinks, those that consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day and were current smokers had a 6.6-fold greater risk of COPD.

“Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD,” Zumin concludes.

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This study is published in the journal Respirology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact healthnews@wiley.com.

Full citation: SHI, Z., DAL GRANDE, E., TAYLOR, A. W., GILL, T. K., ADAMS, R. and WITTERT, G. A. (2012), Association between soft drink consumption and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in Australia. Respirology, 17: 363. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.02115.x

URL: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.02115.x.

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ABSTRACT
Background and objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association between soft drink consumption and self-reported doctor-diagnosed asthma and COPD among adults living in South Australia.

Methods: Data were collected using a risk factor surveillance system. Each month a representative random sample of South Australians were selected from the electronic White Pages and interviews were conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).

Results: Among 16 907 participants aged 16 years and older, 11.4% reported daily soft drink consumption of more than half a litre. High levels of soft drink consumption were positively associated with asthma and COPD. Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported consuming more than half a litre of soft drink per day. By multivariate analysis, after adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, the odds ratio (OR) for asthma was 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.58) and the OR for COPD was 1.79 (95% CI: 1.32–2.43), comparing those who consumed more than half a litre of soft drink per day with those who did not consume soft drinks.

Conclusions: There was a positive association between consumption of soft drinks and asthma/COPD among adults living in South Australia.

2 thoughts on “Soda causes asthma, COPD?”

  1. It’s a well-known fact that caffeine, amongst other things, causes the bronchi to relax and expand. Truly. This is part of the ‘kick’ supplied by caffeine.

    It is entirely possible that Coca-Cola, which contains caffeine, will be preferentially consumed by those with asthma and COPD, both of which involve breathing difficulties. Note that the other beverages involved in the survey contain no caffeine. The researchers should have included coffee in the list of beverages–a glaring omission.

  2. Wow! Who could have seen that coming? The looked for a connection between the dreaded soft drinks and asthma and lo and behold they found it. What will they think of next? Maybe it’s the HFCS? Or the chemtrails?

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